If I Were an Animal
To warm up choice-making skills and imagination
- Ask students to imagine that, instead of humans, they are all animals spending time together as friends.
- Have each student silently choose what animal they would be, if they were an animal.
- Going around the circle or the room if students are seated in desks, ask each student to make the sound of their chosen animal.
- Depending on how much time you want to spend, have other students guess what animal the sound belongs to.
- If desired, you can have the full group say, “If I were an animal…” before you point to a student to make a noise.
- Reflection: How did you choose your animal? What noises were most interesting to you? This reflection can be facilitated verbally, written or visually as a conversation, journal entry or drawing.
- Note: This could become very stimulating, always encourage positive behavior and set clear and achievable goals for the students.
Transition into Activity
A guided imagination could support student’s transition into the activity
Transition out of Activity
Students could move like their animal to get back to their seats. If still seated, invite students to stretch and yawn like their animal would to start the day.
Students can stay at desks or be in a circle (sitting or standing)
- Pictures or a book of animals could support in decision-making and communication
- Students could make a sound or a movement
- Call and response between the student who is choosing an animal and the rest of the class. Ex: “_____ name + _____animal” have the class repeat
- Alternative: Animal sounds can be played and students as a group guess sounds and make that animal’s movement together
Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals
- Can model and start the sharing
- Can participate by contributing their own noise.
- Can support decision making one-on-one if needed
- Can amplify a student’s sound if needed
This activity works well online. Animal choices could be shared via slides, video, etc. Students may need support muting/unmuting when it’s their turn to share. Students can share guesses in the chat.